What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance Vs Collision Insurance?

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Written by Jeff Bray
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Protecting your car is crucial, but with so many types of insurance available, it can be hard to know what’s right for you. So, you know there are different types of car insurance, right?

Well, collision and comprehensive are two of them. They’re not required by law, but they can come in handy if something happens to your car. Collision kicks in when you get in a crash, while comprehensive covers pretty much everything else that could mess up your ride.

Together, they can take care of a lot of damage, but they don’t cover any other vehicles involved or any injuries. So, ensure you’re ready with the coverage you need!

Key Takeaways

  • Comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle from damage resulting from incidents besides collisions, such as fire, natural disasters, falling objects, or vandalism.

  • Collision insurance pays for damages to your automobile when you collide with another car, a tree, a fence, or a railing on the road.

  • Neither collision nor comprehensive insurance will pay for damage to another person’s car.

  • The value of your automobile plays a significant role in determining the cost of comprehensive and collision insurance.

  • While some providers offer comprehensive-only coverage for vehicles in storage and not being regularly driven, obtaining comprehensive and collision insurance may be necessary.

What Is The Difference Between Collision Vs. Comprehensive?

There’s a big difference between collision and comprehensive coverage when it comes to car accidents. Collision insurance kicks in when you’re in a crash, and it’s within your control, or another car hits you.

On the other hand, comprehensive coverage is more for “acts of God or nature” that are out of your control, like if a deer jumps out in front of you or if a huge hailstorm damages your car.

Let’s say a hurricane just hit, and you’re dealing with the aftermath. Two things could’ve happened, right? It is either a tree branch that fell on your car, or you had to swerve to avoid one and ended up hitting a tree.

If it’s the first situation, you couldn’t have predicted the tree branch falling, so your comprehensive coverage would take care of the damages. But if you swerved and hit the tree, that’s a collision, and your collision insurance would be the one to reimburse you.

It’s important to know the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage to ensure you’re covered for whatever unexpected situations come your way.

Feature Comprehensive Coverage Collision Coverage
What is Covered Non-collision damage to your vehicle, such as:

●      Natural disasters

●      Falling objects

●      Fire

●      Animal damage

●      Theft

 

Damage to your vehicle from:

●      Collision with another vehicle

●      Collision with an object, such as a wall

●      Single-car rollover accidents

Required or Optional? When renting or financing a car, it is necessary. Otherwise optional. Required if leasing or financing vehicle. Otherwise optional.
Coverage Limit Actual cash value Actual cash value
Deductible Yes Yes
What’s Not Covered ●      Damage to another person’s vehicle

●      Medical bills (yours, your passengers, other drivers,’ other passengers’)

 

●      Damage to another person’s vehicle

●      Medical bills (yours, your passengers, other drivers, other passengers)

 

Examples of Situations in which You Could File a Collision Claim

  • You struck a post after swerving to miss a squirrel.
  • Someone hits your car and then leaves.
  • A guardrail is hit when your car slips on ice.

Examples of Situations in which You Could File a Comprehensive Claim

  • Your car suffered damage from a garage fire.
  • Hail storm damage to your car.
  • You run over a deer and dent your fender.
  • Your car is stolen by a thief and is never found.

What’s A Deductible In Collision And Comprehensive?

When you get collision or comprehensive insurance, there’s usually a deductible you have to pay. It’s like the amount you must cover before the insurance kicks in.

Typical deductibles range from $250 to $1,000 or more. So, let’s say you have a $500 deductible, and your car gets messed up in an accident that’ll cost $1800 to fix. Your insurance company will only give you $1,300.

But there’s some good news! Some car insurance companies offer “diminishing deductibles” to reward safe driving. Basically, if you don’t file certain claims while you’re with them, your deductible will gradually decrease.

The Maximum Insurance Payout For Collision And Comprehensive?

Suppose you get in a wreck, and your car is completely wrecked. Your collision and comprehensive insurance will only give you money up to the value of your car right before the accident.

You’ll also have to subtract your deductible from that. And by the way, your car is considered “totaled” if:

  • There is no way to fix it to make it safe to drive.
  • Repair costs would be more than the car’s worth.

Do you know that if the cost of fixing your car exceeds a certain percentage of its value, you might need serious repairs? In many states, if the repair costs exceed 75% of the car’s worth, they’ll consider it “totaled.”

And don’t think it’s immune to this just because your car is new. With all the fancy tech in modern cars, repairs can get super expensive, making “total loss” accidents more common.

What Is Comprehensive Insurance?

Are you aware that comprehensive car insurance can cover damages that aren’t caused by you driving into something? Yeah, it’s sometimes called “acts of God.”

Basically, if something like a tree branch falls on your car, which you have no control over, your comprehensive policy would cover it. And if your car gets stolen, comprehensive will pay for a replacement or repairs if it’s found.

What Are The Benefits Of Comprehensive Coverage?

In case you are worried about your car being stolen or severely damaged, comprehensive coverage is a lifesaver! It gives you the peace of mind to go about your day without worrying about what might happen to your beloved ride.

But, don’t forget, if your car only suffers minor damage like a scratch or a dented bumper, comprehensive coverage won’t help you. Those little mistakes will be your responsibility to cover.

For example, if someone keys your car and it costs $500 to fix, your comprehensive policy won’t kick in unless your deductible is less than that amount. So, keep that in mind!

What Is Collision Insurance?

Collision coverage covers the costs of fixing your ride when you get into a crash. So therefore, next time you get yourself in the situation, take a deep breath and don’t get yourself worked up because the collision insurance will cover the expenses. That’s cool, right?

Types of damage covered by collision auto insurance

  • While you’re parked, either you collide with another vehicle, or they do.
  • You hit a pole, tree, or other stationary objects while driving.
  • You hit a ditch or a pothole when you crash.
  • Your vehicle turns over.
  • It was a hit-and-run if you can’t use your uninsured motorist insurance.

What Are The Benefits Of Collision Insurance?

The major advantage of collision insurance is it’s like a safety net for your car. Basically, if you get into an accident and your car needs repairs, collision insurance will cover the costs, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

This is extremely beneficial if you don’t have much extra cash on hand or simply want some peace of mind.

If you get into a hit-and-run or the other driver isn’t responding to your calls after the crash, collision insurance will still have your back and cover the damage.

Plus, if you have collision insurance, you can start the repair process immediately instead of waiting for insurance companies to figure out who’s at fault. And if it turns out that the other driver’s insurance should have paid for the damage, no worries – you’ll still get reimbursed.

One of the best things about collision insurance is that you only have to deal with your insurance company, which is usually more willing to pay for your claim than some random insurer.

And most of the time, collision insurance can also be used for a rental car, so you don’t have to shell out extra cash for rental car insurance. So, it’s definitely something to consider if you want to protect your car and your wallet.

 

Do I Need Collision And Comprehensive Insurance?

If you’re financing or leasing a car, you’ve probably been told you need to get collision and comprehensive coverage. It’s basically so you’re protected if something bad happens to your car, like if it gets stolen or wrecked.

Once you’ve paid off your loan, you can decide whether you still want to keep that coverage. Now, if you’re not required to have collision and comprehensive, you might still want to consider it.

Ask yourself if you could afford to fix or replace your car if something happened. If the answer is no, it might be worth considering. Just keep in mind that the value goes down as your car gets older, and so does the potential payout from your insurance.

For example, your ride is a 2019 Toyota Corolla worth around $4,200. If it’s totaled in flood and you have a $1,000 deductible, your insurance check would be $3,200. So, you might want to weigh the cost of coverage versus the potential benefit.

Based on the recent National Association of Insurance Commissioners statistics, the typical accident claim costs $4,412.31. $1,359.04 is the typical comprehensive claim amount.

What If Someone Else Damages My Car?

Collision insurance is a great safety net for when you accidentally dent or scratch your car, like when you accidentally back into a pole (we’ve all been there!). But it’s also handy to have if someone else crashes into you. In that case, you have two options:

First, you can make a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance. If the accident wasn’t your fault, their insurance should cover the cost of the damage to your car.

Or, you can make a claim on your collision insurance. Maybe you don’t want to deal with the other driver’s insurance, or you just want the peace of mind of going through your insurer. The only downside is having to cover your deductible. But at least you know your car will be taken care of!

How Much Will Comprehensive And Collision Insurance Cost?

Did you know that the value of your car can affect how much you pay for comprehensive and collision insurance? Insurance companies factor in the risk they could face if your car is totally wrecked, which can impact your premiums.

To give you an idea of what that might look like, check out the table below. It breaks down sample auto insurance premiums for three cars, including liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage.

Monthly Cost Of Comprehensive Coverage Vs. Collision Coverage

Vehicle Value Comprehensive Collision
$13,400 $9.60 $31.40
$23,700 $15.60 $45.40
$31,290 $21.00 $72.20

What Comprehensive And Collision Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Even though collision and comprehensive coverage, plus liability insurance, give you pretty extensive coverage, there are a few things they won’t cover.

For example, suppose you get hurt in an accident. In that case, you might need to rely on the other driver’s liability insurance, injury protection or medical payments insurance, or health insurance.

Also, if anything gets stolen from your car, like your laptop or wallet, you’ll want to check out your homeowners insurance or renters insurance instead.

Factors To Consider Before Buying Comprehensive And Collision Insurance

Your Financial Situation

Have you ever considered what would occur if your car was unexpectedly damaged or totaled? Do you think you could afford to repair or replace it? If your answer is no, you might want to consider getting collision and comprehensive coverage for your car.

This could help you avoid a financial disaster if something unexpected happens to your vehicle.

The Worth Of Your Car

Do you know it’s a good idea to consider dropping comprehensive or collision coverage if the cost exceeds 10% of your car’s value? If your car gets totaled, those coverages will only pay out the car’s worth at the time of the damage.

So, it might be worth weighing the cost and potential payout before deciding on your coverage.

Your Driving Habits

Do you frequently use your automobile or have a long commute every day? You run a bigger chance of getting into an accident the more you drive, which increases the likelihood of requiring collision insurance.

Where You Reside

If you are residing in an area with a lot of crime or frequent wildfires or floods, you might want to consider getting extra insurance coverage. It’s worth considering even if you don’t drive very much.

How Many Drivers Have Comprehensive Insurance?

Although the percentage of motorists with comprehensive insurance may vary from state to state, it currently stands at 77%.

It could be smart to obtain comprehensive insurance on your policy if you reside in a region with a history of severe weather or a high crime rate.

This coverage can protect your car from off-road dangers like theft and natural disasters. It’s something to consider!

States With The Highest Percentage Of Motorists That Have Full Coverage

State Drivers with comprehensive coverage
Florida 84%
Illinois 84%
Connecticut 87%
Massachusetts 91%
New Hampshire 93%

Comprehensive coverage, which covers your automobile against damage caused by tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, and nor’easters, is especially advantageous for drivers in coastal areas.

Auto Insurance Spotlight: Stolen Vehicles

Do you know that a car is stolen every 36 seconds? That’s according to the latest National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) Hot Spots report. And even with COVID-19 happening, it didn’t stop vehicle thieves.

Vehicle Theft Rates By State

According to the Hot Spots survey, there are 100 car thefts for every 100,000 people. Ten states reported a decrease in car thefts (since 2019) despite an increase in thefts in the U.S.

These states include:

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

Do you know what a great way to protect your car is? Taking preventative measures! But just in case the worst happens, and it gets stolen, you can take comfort in knowing that the comprehensive coverage section of your auto insurance policy will compensate you for its value.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends keeping these four safety points in mind:

Common Sense

Lock your windows and doors, take your keys out of the ignition, and park in well-lit places at all times.

Warning Devices

Consider using automobile alarms and visual aids like steering wheel locks, brake locks, and column collars as warning systems.

Immobilizing Devices

They stop criminals from disabling the ignition system on your automobile (such as hot wiring). Smart keys, kill switches, wireless ignition authentication, starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers are a few examples.

Tracking Devices

These systems commonly employ GPS and wireless technologies to notify you if the automobile has been moved and to track and monitor the vehicle’s whereabouts.

 

FAQs

Which is preferable, collision or comprehensive insurance?

Collision coverage takes care of damages from accidents with other cars or objects. Still, you’ll need comprehensive coverage if you want protection from unexpected things like a tree branch falling on your car or hitting an animal.

Is full coverage the same as comprehensive and collision insurance?

Full coverage auto insurance is a bit more inclusive than comprehensive auto insurance. With full coverage, you’re covered for comprehensive and collision insurance, along with the state’s required minimums.

On the other hand, with comprehensive insurance, you’re only covered for accidents and damage caused by theft or fire.

What does liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance cover?

Just as mentioned earlier, there are different types of car insurance. If you get into an accident and it’s your fault, collision insurance will help cover the costs of fixing your car.

But if something else happens to your car, like it gets stolen or damaged by weather, that’s where comprehensive auto insurance comes in.

And just a heads up, if you cause damage to someone else’s car or they get hurt, liability insurance is what will cover their expenses.

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